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Go behind the scenes with 'Mrs. Doubtfire'

March 03, 2008|From the Washington Post

Though the movie has been out for 15 years, whenever "Mrs. Doubtfire" airs on television it usually attracts a sizable audience. Sometimes that audience even includes its director, Chris Columbus.

In one of the many extras on "Mrs. Doubtfire: Behind-the-Seams Edition," arriving in stores Tuesday, Columbus confesses that it's one of the few films he has made -- a list that includes "Home Alone," "Stepmom," "Bicentennial Man," "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and "Rent" -- that he'll watch when he comes across it on TV.

You're probably familiar with the story. When Daniel Hillard (Robin Williams) and his wife, Miranda (Sally Field), get divorced, she gets custody of the kids. Daniel wants more time with them than weekend visitation allows, so when he learns Miranda needs a housekeeper, he comes up with a desperate plan. He applies for the job disguised as Mrs. Doubtfire. (The film won an Oscar for makeup.)

Extras on the DVD set include a new interview with Williams; deleted scenes; informative short features, including "From Man to Mrs.: The Evolution of Mrs. Doubtfire" and "Aging Gracefully: A Look Back at Mrs. Doubtfire"; a conversation with well-known animator Chuck Jones (he designed the film's credit sequences); and early makeup tests.

Also included are alternate takes exploring Williams' improvisation in the film. Columbus said he usually shot one or two scripted takes for a scene and then shot several more of Williams improvising. He used multiple cameras at all times to ensure that he captured the initial reactions of the cast when Williams surprised them.

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